Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has come out in support of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) amid calls for her removal. As state Republicans clamor for a special legislative session to oust Willis over her pursuit of former President Donald Trump, Kemp voiced his conviction that the move is unwarranted and politically motivated.
Making his unwavering stance clear during a press conference held on Thursday, Kemp emphasized that his support for Willis remained unaffected by any personal sentiments he might harbor regarding the ongoing case against Donald Trump.
“We have a law in the state of Georgia that clearly outlines the legal steps that can be taken if constituents believe their local prosecutors are violating their oath by engaging in unethical or illegal behavior,” he stated firmly.
“Up to this point, I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis’ actions, or lack thereof, warrant action by the Prosecuting Attorney Oversight Commission,” he said further, even though many Republicans believe Willis’ decision to prosecute Trump is a political witch hunt.
Kemp expressed skepticism over the feasibility and constitutionality of resorting to a special session to investigate Willis, maintaining that adherence to the rule of law and constitutional principles takes precedence.
“The bottom line is that in the state of Georgia, as long as I’m governor, we’re going to follow the law and the Constitution, regardless of who it helps and harms politically,” he stated resolutely.
Gov. Brian Kemp rejects the idea of calling a special session to oust Fani Willis, and criticizes Trump and his allies for pushing it:
“The bottom line is that in the state of Georgia, as long as I'm governor, we're going to follow the law and the Constitution.” pic.twitter.com/VhPAKS1Z7q
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) August 31, 2023
Despite his position on the removal, Kemp voiced concerns regarding the timing of Trump’s election interference prosecution, suggesting that conducting charged trials amidst elections only fostered distrust.
“We are now seeing what happens when prosecutors move forward with highly charged indictments and trials in the middle of an election. Simply put, it sows distrust and provides easy pickings for those who see the district attorney’s action as guided by politics,” he stated.
The efforts to remove Willis come as the ongoing legal proceedings against former President Trump have fueled tensions. The move was spearheaded by Sen. Colton Moore (R-GA), who wrote a letter to the governor earlier this month claiming to have the support of “3/5 of each respective house” in the state legislature for his endeavor. However, he later conceded that this assertion was inaccurate.
Kemp’s opposition to Willis’ removal is shared by Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, who has made it clear within his caucus that he opposes any actions aimed at the prosecutor’s removal and has voiced concerns over their legal validity.